UNITED STATES NEWS

Infrastructure turns into a theme in election-season speeches at Kentucky ham breakfast

Aug 24, 2023, 1:27 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said Thursday that building roads and bridges shouldn’t be a partisan matter, but his Republican opponent in the governor’s race tried to deflect any credit away from the incumbent Democrat for a burst of projects underway.

The influx of infrastructure spending turned into a theme in some speeches at the Kentucky Farm Bureau’s country ham breakfast — a late-summer tradition that attracts leaders in politics, business and education. Beshear gave updates on three massive projects, while Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell touted the 2021 federal infrastructure measure as a “much-needed gift” for his home state and the country.

McConnell said the infrastructure bill exemplified what the public expects from Republicans and Democrats — to “look for things you can agree on and do those.”

“I had watched the last two administrations struggle with trying to put together an infrastructure bill,” Kentucky’s senior senator said. “When it finally developed, as a result of a compromise in the Senate, that we could actually do something that both sides had been trying to do, I supported it. I’m proud of it.”

The measure will pump more than $6 billion in federal funding into Kentucky over five years to improve the state’s roads, bridges, railroads, riverports, airports, broadband and more, his office said Thursday.

The speeches occurred as Beshear and his Republican challenger, Attorney General Daniel Cameron, jockey for advantage ahead of the November election in the state’s hotly contested campaign for governor. Cameron spoke with reporters at the ham breakfast, but in accordance with tradition — which strictly limits which officeholders get time at the podium — he didn’t get to address the large crowd.

Afterward, Cameron weighed in on the federal infrastructure measure while deflecting credit away from Beshear for the flurry of projects underway.

“I’m grateful for what Sen. McConnell did as it relates to the infrastructure package,” Cameron told reporters. “Grateful for the bipartisan support on that. It’s helping fund projects. I know Andy Beshear tries to take credit for those things. But that was because of the work of Sen. McConnell and others in the United States Senate that that package got passed. And we’re seeing some of the benefits of that.”

Cameron is a protege of McConnell, having worked as the senator’s legal counsel. McConnell strongly backs Cameron’s bid for governor but didn’t comment directly on the campaign in his speech Thursday.

In his remarks, Beshear touched on his main campaign themes — the state’s record-setting economic development achievements during his tenure and his support for big pay raises for public school employees, state-funded pre-K for all 4-year-olds and increased funding for student transportation.

Pointing to the state’s economic momentum, the governor said: “What it means is we have a chance to be the generations that change everything — that turn our brain drain into a brain gain.”

Beshear touted progress on three mega-projects for the Bluegrass State — building a new Ohio River bridge connecting Kentucky and Ohio without tolls, widening and extending the Mountain Parkway in eastern Kentucky, and constructing another Ohio River bridge to close a gap in Interstate 69 linking western Kentucky and Indiana. Beshear said his administration has shepherded the progress, working with the neighboring states on those bridge projects.

The Democrat continued to downplay partisan politics as he seeks reelection in his deeply red state.

“I believe that a good job isn’t Democrat or Republican,” he said. “A bridge isn’t red or blue. That clean drinking water and the expansion of high-speed internet are critical for every single Kentucky family.”

In a speech later Thursday in Louisville, Cameron took aim at the many statewide events headlined by Beshear to announce funding projects for communities statewide. It’s an inherent advantage of incumbency practiced by governors from both parties.

“Our current governor has certainly gotten good at taking photos and passing out other people’s money,” Cameron said. “But at the end of the day, not so good at addressing some of those foundational issues that are important to our communities. In fact, in many ways our foundation is eroding underneath us.”

Those foundational issues include public safety and a quality education system, Cameron said. Many students suffered “generational learning loss” from pandemic-era school closures, he said.

Hitting back on Beshear’s economic record, Cameron said Kentuckians are still squeezed by high inflation, and the state struggles with one of the country’s worst workforce participation rates. The Republican nominee said he soon will release his plan for Kentucky’s economy.

“We will reinvigorate the culture that respects work, not one that settles for government dependence,” Cameron said. “My plan will lift up every Kentuckian who works hard, plays by the rules and wants their children to have a better life.”

United States News

Associated Press

8 shot including 2 men killed at a party with hundreds attending in Memphis park, police say

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Eight people were shot including two men who were killed at an unsanctioned public party in a Memphis city park Saturday night, police said. Officers responded at 7:19 p.m. to a reported shooting, Memphis Police Department Chief Cerelyn Davis said during a news conference at the scene. Two men were pronounced […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Vehicle crashes into building where birthday party held, injuring children and adults, sheriff says

BERLIN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A vehicle drove through a boat club building where a children’s birthday celebration was taking place Saturday, seriously injuring a number of children and adults, a Michigan sheriff said in a news release. The victims were taken to several area hospitals after the crash that occurred at about 3 p.m. […]

7 hours ago

Associated Press

3 hospitalized after knife attack on party boat in New York City along Brooklyn waterfront

NEW YORK (AP) — A knife attack on a crowded party boat at a New York City pier Saturday resulted in the hospitalization of three people, police said. A 911 call came in around 5 p.m. reporting the assault along the Brooklyn waterfront near 58th Street and the Brooklyn Army Terminal warehouse, NYPD Detective Sophia […]

7 hours ago

Associated Press

Autoworkers union celebrates breakthrough win in Tennessee and takes aim at more plants in the South

DALLAS (AP) — The United Auto Workers’ overwhelming election victory at a Volkswagen plant in Tennessee is giving the union hope that it can make broader inroads in the South, the least unionized part of the country. The UAW won a stunning 73% of the vote at VW after losing elections in 2014 and 2019. […]

9 hours ago

Associated Press

Conditions improve for students shot in Maryland park on ‘senior skip day’

GREENBELT, Md. (AP) — Three of the five youths shot in a suburban Washington, D.C., park during a high school “senior skip day” gathering have been released from the hospital, while the condition of the most seriously injured has improved, authorities said Saturday. Police in Greenbelt, Maryland, are asking the public to share video footage […]

10 hours ago

Associated Press

New York lawmakers pass $237 billion budget addressing housing construction and migrants

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York lawmakers passed a $237 billion state budget Saturday that includes plans to spur housing construction and combat unlicensed marijuana stores. The package also includes a raft of other measures ranging from expediting the closure of some state prisons, addressing the recent influx of migrants, and continuing the pandemic-era policy […]

10 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

Infrastructure turns into a theme in election-season speeches at Kentucky ham breakfast